This past week, our friend and ministry partner, Wes Janzen took his Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Choir on a ministry trip to Zaporozhye, Ukraine for two free performances in that city’s main concert hall. Zaporozhye is located two and a half hour’s drive from the frontlines of the war with Russia. MB Mission is supporting a number of new church plants both in the city and the surrounding area. We are also supporting weekly deliveries of relief aid from these churches to communities in the conflict zone.
The focus of the concert was the Christmas story and Isaiah 53 – in essence, the Gospel. The local churches used the concerts as outreaches, with more than fifty percent of the audience estimated to be pre-Christians. Projecting the texts onto the big screen and conducting the entire performance in Ukrainian meant that the message was understood by all. Wes also shared the testimony of his grandfather Regehr who had lived in Ukraine.
The audiences included several rows of young soldiers, who all listened attentively. Hundreds of concert attendees filled in response cards with comments like, “Before this concert, I never even knew that there was such a niche of spiritual music!” Another wrote, “They share the Good News and bring peace and comfort, which are all so needed in Ukrainian!”
In the midst of conflict and economic hardship, what is the contribution of the arts? They speak to the beauty and hope of our Creator and give a fuller expression to the Gospel.
If we are all to live on mission, we need the artists, the musicians and the writers to join in giving expression to the Gospel, especially in least reached places.
I love what Wes and his team are doing in Ukraine and it makes me wonder about the impact of the arts would be in other countries like Burundi, Congo, Syria, Turkey and Myanmar. We need the Good News expressed with every gift God has given us. I’m reminded that the same God who “rejoices over us with singing” is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17). If this strikes a chord with you, let us know!
- Pray that God would call out every gift he has given his Church to respond to those who need to hear his gospel of peace and reconciliation. All are needed to fully express the Good News!
- Please continue to pray for MB Mission workers serving in areas of conflict - that they serve out of the peace and trust they have in their Father. Pray that the church in these countries would grow in maturity and fruitfulness.
- Pray for the two Multiply conferences we are organizing together with C2C. These are happening Feb 8-9 in Vancouver, BC, and Feb 22-23 in Fresno, CA. All are invited, and we are excited to see God move at these events. If you are a ministry leader, please take some time to consider whether God may be inviting you to attend this equipping event. Registration and more info can be found through the Multiply link below.